This weekend, I was running errands in a kind of androgynous mode. No wig, light makeup, girls's jeans, girls' hoodie, girls' jacket. Not quite presenting totally dressed up female, but definitely not male either. Walking down the street in my Brooklyn neighborhood I thought to myself "I guess I'm full time now." It wasn't some grand big thing, me coming out full time. It just sort happened. Well, more like it evolved over time. If you had asked me ten years ago what I thought my coming out full time would involve I would have imagined grand ceremonies, burning boy clothes, a giant party, who knows what. Instead, in the end, it just sort of happened. Another mundane thing on a mundane day.
Yesterday, was Monday, November 21st, 2016. It was a huge, amazing day for me and in the end it felt mundane too. Yesterday was my first day working at my job as a woman.
Settle in. This is gonna be a long one...
My regular readers will know that I came out to HR recently, and started working with management, HR and Legal on how I would come out. There were meetings. There were plans. There were documents to review. There were panic attacks. In the end, I decided on November 21st as my first girl day, partly because it was, at the time, pretty far away, and also because it was the week of Thanksgiving. That meant that if it all went horribly, I would at least only have a three day week to worry about. In the end, it was determined that they'd send out a memo organization-wide, and then conduct some other training for key staff in the coming months. Since the memo was going out on a Wednesday, I took that day, plus the following Thursday and Friday off. Honestly, I just didn't want to be there when the memo went out. I could imagine it showing up in inboxes and suddenly every head turning to stare at me.
Plus hey, five day weekend. It was a busy weekend. I went and saw Letters to Cleo play live. It was amazing show and they've been one of my favorite bands for practically two decades and I'd never seen them play. Good times.
|How shining is Veda? Veda is very shining.
Monday morning. I'd set the alarm early, for 6:45am and promptly hit snooze a couple times. Yes, my first decision of the day was to continue in an unconscious state.
Eventually I did get up out of bed. I put on my clothes; a professional looking skirt with black tights and ankle boots, a nice red top and cardigan. I did my makeup in the same kind of basic, light makeup look that I've been practicing and I opened up a brand new shiny wig, fresh from the package.
And of course, this happens...
And then the temperature drops to freezing. You know, it was 70F like four days ago. What the hell, universe. Give a trans girl a chance! So, I bundled up and headed out the door.
Honestly, there wasn't much nervousness as I headed to the subway. I resisted the urge to snap selfies along the way. A part of me felt the day, a day this momentous, needed some serious documentation. But then also, stopping to snap selfies would do nothing but draw attention to me. Plus the light probably wasn't even good. Certainly none of the other commuters were stopping to take souvenir photos of their slog into work. So, my morning would go unrecorded.
|Flowers! The first time I've ever gotten surprise desk flowers!
It didn't take very long at all for people to shift from "you look fantastic" to "where's the TPS reports?" So that was good. I did what I always did and sat down and started working. Actually I got a lot of work done. My partner says having a task helps relieve anxiety. You know, you're brain is so occupied with work that it doesn't have time to worry about things.
And of course I worry about things and will keep worrying. People's attitudes can change, their opinion of me can change, who knows what the future holds. But for now, it feels nice to be at work and be me. I feel good about this.
In fact, I felt so good that around 4:30pm or 5pm I stopped for a few minutes, found an empty office, and snapped a bunch of selfies (you can see them throughout this post). Not for more than two or three minutes. But enough to show that I was here, enough to document this experience. It's real. It happened. I did it. I overcame my fears.
And then I showed up today and did it all over again.